BY PETER MCGORAN
They’ve played sold out shows all over the UK and now, having just toured America, Lawson are coming to Belfast. Joined by Room 94 and Paighton, Lawson play at the Ulster Hall on the 20th of October. Committed to their live performance, it’s a show not to be missed. The Gown spoke to lead guitarist Joel Peat in preparation for the gig.
First off, how did the band come together?
We got together 5 or 6 years ago when we all moved to London to pursue a music career. I’d known Ryan for years; we used to do gigs together. Then Andy met Ryan in London. Adam contacted Andy on Myspace and we all just met up. We really sucked at first. But we put our heart into it, bought ourselves a van we which we had to jumpstart after every single gig and toured for four years until we got signed.
And how’d you pick the name?
We were originally called The Grobels, which meant nothing. We realised we needed a name that meant something to us. Andy had had a brain tumour when he was 19 and he’d had a horrible experience. The doctor who basically got him through it and saved his life was a guy called Dr. Lawson. And the idea to name the band Lawson trumped all our ideas!
That’s an incredible story. Now you’ve been compared
to bands such as Maroon 5 and The Script. Do you think that’s a fair comparison of what you’re trying to do musically?
The Script are an amazing band and have been an inspiration. Everyone always seems to bring them up and we’re definitely influenced by them but we have loads of influences. We also like bands like the Eagles and the Stones. Things like that. I think people see a picture of the band sometimes and get the wrong impression. All I can say is come see us perform live because we’re more inspired by bands who, like us, pride themselves on putting on a good show.
You’ve had a string of top 20 hits and played at sold out shows across the UK. How has the success affected the band?
The good thing is that we were virtually unknown for four years so we’re not so much affected by it. Sometimes all the attention seems stupid. For example, we’re coming to Belfast in October to play in the Ulster Hall and we’ve toured so much in the past that we literally know the smallest venues and now we’re playing in the biggest ones. I think we’re all just really grateful to be where we are and it’s made us more driven.
You just released six new songs on the repackaged album Chapman Square: Chapter 2, can we expect to hear them on the tour?
Yeah, we’ll be playing pretty much all of them. I’m really excited about playing them live. We go into rehearsals and try to make our songs original, a bit different from what you’d normally hear. We have a lot of acoustic versions of songs off the first albums so we’re going to be replicating that on stage as well. We’ll hopefully be doing that when we’re playing at the Ulster Hall!